Anxiety in Young Children


By the end of infancy, or the first birthday, fears and anxieties may become more elaborated and specific—for example, at a year or so it’s not uncommon for young children to develop a fear of clowns—the face and hair appear vaguely familiar but unlike anything they’ve known previously.  

Fear of separation, while present in babies, peaks at about 18 months, then typically begins to abate as the child becomes less physically and emotionally dependent on his caretakers…and more confident and interested in exploring the world around them.  

Many of the factors involved in infant anxiety, though, are not confined to infancy.  Anxieties that are bound up in attachment-related disorders, difficult caretaker relationships, chaotic environments, and temperament will certainly follow an infant into toddlerhood—and often beyond.